On the horizon the sun is almost setting. The spur of Ghareb is now deserted. Some soldiers had returned to their barracks, the elders to their homes, the people to prepare to celebrate the Pesah. An eerie silence and solitude reigned over Calvary. See also Via Dolorosa and the Thirteenth Station.
This is the way how a tour is given! For those, who are interested in a tour (the Way of the Cross), contact Wim. It’s a one-day tour, costing $150 (per group, maximum 30 persons). The content of the tour is here, and the stories behind the Way of the Cross will be much more expanded then it is here presented.
The women accompanied by John, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus came down from Calvary. Joseph had offered to bury Jesus in his garden, just under Golgotha. Here he was preparing a new tomb for his family. No one had used it yet. “Under the circumstances, this tomb would do”, thought Mary.
They could not afford to go far away. They will not make it before the beginning of the festivities. Joseph assured them that this tomb will only house the dead body of Jesus.
While coming down along the slope they noticed that several soldiers where still around and were following them. How come? Why? Was there a reason for their presence?
They arrived at the tomb. All remained outside. Only Joseph, Nicodemus and John entered and laid the dead body of Jesus on the rock bench at the right hand of the burial chamber.
The garden was silent. Only Mary’s sobs could be heard. The men came out of the tomb and moved a big boulder in front of its entrance.
As they turned, they saw the soldiers approaching and queried the reason for their presence. They had orders to stay by the tomb on guard. All were astonished. Was there any reason?
They learned that the orders came from very high. The members of the Sanhedrin had asked for this particular treatment for the “King of the Jews”. They wanted to make sure that he remains there and that no one dared come to steal the dead body.
The women and the men, seeing the soldiers sitting by the now sealed tomb, could hardly believe their eyes. This was another “strange” situation which had been created by this death sentence carried out in the Holy City of Jerusalem.
The soldiers were not too keen to stay there because they also thought that the elders had gone too far with their requests. But orders were orders and they settled down for a night of joking, playing and wine drinking by the tomb of Jesus in the Garden of Joseph of Arimathea.